vienna by day

I have two days in Vienna before I fly back early in the morning on Sunday. To make the most of those days, I decided to purchase a Vienna card. It’s different from the Prague card in that it doesn’t get you into any attractions for free, it just gives you a small discount on the attractions in town. What makes it worthwhile though, is that it works as a transit card for three full days, and it’s just a few euros more than the normal transit card. So I ended up taking the subway a lot during my time in Vienna.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy first stop was to Schonbrunn palace, mostly because it was the subway stop that was closest to where I was staying.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe gardens around Schonbrunn were nice, but I got the feeling that they would be a lot better in the spring.


Photography was not allowed inside the palace. At one point I decided, “screw it,” and took a shot of the ceiling with the camera at my belly. Pretty much all the rooms were decorated exquisitely, with incredibly detailed paneling, and either paintings or tapestries that covered the walls and ceilings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfterwards I went to the town center. Apparently Vienna is famous for its opera, and I heard that standing room only tickets for tourists were generally cheap. But I didn’t find anything that I’d be interested in seeing. I wanted to return later and at least do a tour of the opera house, but I ended up forgetting to come back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor some reason I visited the Imperial crypt. The detail on the caskets was incredible, though they were a little creepy to me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I arrived at the Stephensdom, the main part of the church was closed off for the noon mass. There weren’t a lot of people attending mass, there were probably five times as many tourists on my side of the gate than there were people on the other side of the gate attending mass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t actually eat any real food, mostly just ate cakes and drank coffee at konditereis. I noticed that every time I ordered coffee in Vienna, it came with a glass of water. I’m not sure why– the coffee I ordered (a Viennese coffee called melange) was quite smooth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the afternoon I went to the Hofburg palace complex. The palace complex has a ton of museums and exhibits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the highlights for me was the Kunsthistorisches or art history museum. You can tell just from the entrance that this would be a pretty epic museum.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe museum’s art collection was pretty impressive, but I didn’t really spend much time exploring it, I just kinda quickly browsed through the entire museum in less than an hour. Which was kind of a shame, it was definitely worth spending a day exploring it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven the museum’s cafeteria was pretty impressive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI walked randomly around town quite a bit too. I ended up by the river front. The water doesn’t look all that clean, and there’s a ton of graffiti, but it still looks like a nice place to ride a bike.


There were bike rentals really close by, if it weren’t so cold and wet I probably would’ve rented one. The city bike system is pretty cool, you can rent a bike and return it at any other city bike kiosk, I saw quite a few of these around town. Prices seemed pretty reasonable too.

I felt like during my whirlwind tour of Vienna I was just beginning to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. I wouldn’t mind returning here someday and just spending time wandering through museums and listening to musical performances and biking around town.

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